Coordinates: 43°55′21″N 4°44′35″E / 43.92250°N 4.74306°E / 43.92250; 4.74306
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A view of the Durance south of Cavaillon with the LGV Méditerranée viaduct
Physical characteristics
 - locationCottian Alps
 - elevation2,300 m (7,500 ft)
 - locationRhône
 - coordinates43°55′21″N 4°44′35″E / 43.92250°N 4.74306°E / 43.92250; 4.74306
Length323 km (201 mi)[1]
Basin size14,472 km2 (5,588 sq mi)
 - average188 m3/s (6,600 cu ft/s)
Basin features
ProgressionRhôneMediterranean Sea

The Durance (Occitan: Durença) is a river in southeastern France, a left tributary of the Rhône river. It is the longest river in Metropolitan France without a department named after it.

Geography[change | change source]

The Durance river has a length of 320.9 km (199 mi) and a drainage basin with an area of approximately 14,342 km2 (5,537 sq mi).[1]

Its average yearly discharge (volume of water which passes through a section of the river per unit of time) is 175 m3/s (6,200 cu ft/s) at Saint-Paul-lès-Durance in the Bouches-du-Rhône department at an altitude of 247 m (810 ft), for a period of 95 years.[2]

Average monthly discharge (m3/s) at Saint-Paul-lès-Durance

Course[change | change source]

The Durance starts in the pré de Gondran ("meadow of Gondran"), on the east side of the Sommet des Anges mountain, in the commune of Montgenèvre (a ski resort near Briançon), Hautes-Alpes department, at an elevation of about 2,325 m (7,628 ft). It then flows to the southwest through the departments of Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Vaucluse and Bouches-du-Rhône.

Finally, the river flows into the Rhône river, as a left tributary, south of the city of Avignon.

The Durance only flows through two departments: Hautes-Alpes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence; it forms the border between two other departments but it does not flow through them: Vaucluse and Bouches-du-Rhône. It flows through the Var department only for a short distance.

It flows through the following communes, among others:[1]

Main tributaries[change | change source]

The main tributaries of the Durance river are:[1]

Gallery[change | change source]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "La Durance (X---0000)" (in French). SANDRE - Portail national d'accès aux référentiels sur l'eau. Archived from the original on 12 November 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  2. "La Durance à Saint-Paul-lès-Durance (Jouques-Cadarache)" (in French). Banque Hydro. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2017.

Other websites[change | change source]